Book Club Talk: Italians in Texas

(Author’s note: I’ve met with several Book Clubs in Austin, Texas, answered questions about Birds of Passage, and spoke about early Italian immigrant history including Texas. I’d be delighted to have meetings or Facetime conferences with interested Book Clubs anywhere.)   Like Christopher Columbus, Italians were often in the employ of the Spanish court during…

Book Club Talk: Italians in California

(Author’s Note: Through Facetime, I joined a Book Club outside San Francisco, answered questions about Birds of Passage, and spoke about early Italian immigrant history including California.) After gold was discovered in 1849, the first Italian immigrants left northern Italy, and settled in the Mother Lode near Sacramento. Domenico Ghirardelli was a Genoa confectioner’s apprentice.…

The Optimist

(Author’s note: Voltaire’s satire on optimism, “Candide,” titled “L’Optimisme” in French was the inspiration for this piece.)   Gérard Petit’s face was sour cheese. He peered over his half-frame reading glasses. “Another expensive, company-paid vacation?” Marcel said, “Our Japanese clients require personal attention. Emails and phone calls aren’t enough.” Petit tossed the signed travel authorization…

Book Club Talk: Italians on the Iron Range

(Author’s Note: Through Facetime, I joined a Book Club in Minneapolis-St. Paul, answered questions about Birds of Passage, and spoke about Italian immigrant history including Minnesota.) The Minnesota Iron Range, Vermilion, Mesabi, and Cuyuna mines, produced the majority of the iron ore in the United States. from 1900 to 1980. By 1920, the Iron Range…

The Sour Smell of Pain

(Author’s note: In the spring of 2013, I took a graduate course at the University of Texas on the Progressive Era. My research paper on Italian immigration and the short story, “The Sour Smell of Pain,” were the genesis for my novel, Birds of Passage, an Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, which I begin…

She Lost Her Ear in Curitiba

We were a modern dance troupe on tour in Brazil, and I designed and built the sets. Our manager was Gasparino, beak nose and slick black hair. He wore flowered-shirts and displayed a gold malocchio horn on his hairless chest. Isabelle was the lead dancer for the troupe, and my first thought when I woke…

Upcoming Readings

Austin, Texas
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Malvern Books Novel Night
7:00 PM.
613 West 29th Street.

Manhattan, New York
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Italian American Museum
6:30 PM
155 Mulberry Street

Manhattan, New York
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Cornelia Street Café
5:45 PM
29 Cornelia St.